Tag Archives: sparkpeople

September – Day 4

I’m a bit late with my update for yesterday.  It’s been a hectic couple of days.  I’ve been writing my updates in the evening and then scheduling them to post the following morning but I was at work last night and didn’t really want to do it when I got home.  Then, I was due to go to work this morning and Adam woke up with a migraine, great!  So, my first full day at work in a week went out of the window.  Fortunately, Adam was fit enough to come to work with me and sit in the staff room with the iPad so I managed to work for an hour and a half.  Not the 5 I was hoping for but better than nothing.

Anyway, on with my review of Day 4.

The Clean 9 is getting easier but I’m still needing a glass or 2 of diet coke to get me through the day.  In my defence, I had been drinking a lot more than 2 or 3 glasses of diet coke before I started the detox and I don’t drink tea of any kind so couldn’t mix up the water with drinking herbal/green tea.  The shake tin says that it is “New and Improved” but if this is new and improved I dread to think what it was like before, it is really bitty.  It may be just me and that fact that I don’t really like chocolate, I’d rather have strawberry, but given the choice between vanilla and chocolate I chose chocolate.  Yes, I know, me the chocoholic doesn’t really like chocolate milkshake.  What’s with that?  We all have our foods that have to be consumed as intended or not at all and for me, chocolate is one of those.  One thing that I think is really working for me this time round is having my main meal at lunch time instead of in the evening.  I didn’t even need any fruit to keep me going 🙂


For the Skinny Jeans Challenge I did the 6 minute hips, glutes and thighs workout and walked to the post box to post some letters.  Not much but enough.

Short and sweet catch up today.  Hope you are all doing well.



Adding Another Challenge to September

As if I don’t already have enough to do, I am adding a 30 Day Blogging Challenge to my “To Do List” for September.  I’ve already signed up for SparkPeople’s Countdown to Skinny Jeans 30 Day Challenge and am on day 4 of my Clean 9 detox.  My son is still at home as his college course doesn’t start until the 15th and I have to fit in work (employed plus 2 soon to be 3 self-employed jobs), learning support appointments, giving blood, talking to my husband – I guess he needs to fit in somewhere! – and I can’t even remember what else.

Anyway, I can do this.  All it takes is a little time management and wanting to do it.  I’m just going to have to start making daily to do lists, prioritise and carry stuff over.  Today’s to do list looks/looked something like this:

  • Exercise for Skinny Jeans Challenge
  • Ironing
  • Stay in waiting for the water board to carry out a survey for a water meter and, maybe, fit a water meter – will be here between 10 am and 12 noon
  • Create a Virtual Tupperware party for Tupperware York
  • Schedule Facebook posts for Be Youniquely You with Fiona
  • Complete the first challenge of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge
  • Make dinner
  • Speak to husband
  • Get through another day of Clean 9
  • Do bookkeeping work
  • Go to work for 3 hours
  • Find some time to relax, just 5 minutes!

I will make it, I may not complete everything on the list but I will make it through the day.

September – Day 3

Day 3 of the Clean 9 was a lot easier than days 1 and 2 although I was a bit shaky when I woke up but once I’d had my Aloe Gel and shake I felt a lot better.  

My son went to enroll at college this morning and we walked down there as it is so close.  When we got there, there were a group of students from my son’s course waiting in the Reception area as they were all going to be taken to the classroom to fill in the forms.  The teaching assistant told me that it would take a couple of hours and, as Adam was happy, I left him to it.  This was great, it meant I could walk quickly home and then go to work for an hour.  It would have been better if I’d known I could leave him before we decided to walk as I would have been able to get to work quicker if I’d driven to college.  Then again, it is a mile to the college and we took 20 minutes to walk there (with a detour to say hi to Adam’s old passenger assistant from the school bus) and I took less than 15 minutes to walk home 😀

I am also following SparkPeople’s Skinny Jeans Challenge for September and today’s task was to do 30 minutes of cardio – done, thanks to walking to and from college – and read about foods that keep you full.

After I picked my son up from college, we came home and I had my main meal at lunch time as I was due to go and help out at the Weight Watchers meeting and knew I would be out from 5.30 pm to 7 pm-ish and didn’t want to cook before I went and certainly wouldn’t want to cook when I got home.  It was a great idea as it meant I wasn’t hungry and wishing that I could eat something between meals.  I mean, I know that shakes are full of all the essential nutrients and stuff but they really don’t fill you up or make you feel like you’ve eaten anything.  Having said that, if I was following the Clean 9 properly and taking the tablets as well as the gel and shakes it might not be so difficult as one of the tablets is an appetite suppressant.  

I took my Day 3 measurements this morning and have lost 6 lbs in 2 days!  I’ve also lost about an inch off my hips (bottom), belly (you know, that bit that causes the muffin top in line with hip bones) and waist.  Awesome!  Let’s hope it stays off until I finish the Clean 9.

Finally, I have signed up to the pre-launch of Younique in the UK.  Why?  Because one of the blogs I follow, Motivating Mum UK, blogged about it and put forward a good case.  I decided that there wasn’t any harm in finding out more about it during the pre-launch and if I decide to go ahead with it the starter kit includes a heck of a lot of makeup for a fraction of the retail price so even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll still have some lovely mineral makeup 🙂  I’ll let you know how it goes or you can followi my progress on my Be Youniquely You with Fiona Facebook page.  Hopefully this will go nicely with my Tupperware business which I re-joined/started in July.

Planning and Preparation

Here I go again!  The perpetual diet is rearing it’s ugly head again.  I was so close to my goal and then life and Christmas got in the way.

I think I’ve put on about 3 lbs since the beginning of December so in the grand scheme of things it’s not too bad.  If I can decide on which plan I want to follow it should come back off again without too much trouble.  Also, my fitness levels are so much better now, with improved muscle mass and reduced fat 😀 so my metabolism has also increased.  Love it!

I’ve decided that rather than waiting until 1 January or the 2nd, when I go to get weighed at WeightWatchers, I’m starting again tomorrow.  Yes, I know it’s a Monday and I try not to start things on a Monday – don’t we always say “I’ll start next Monday” and then it lasts for 3 days?  I have a reason for starting again tomorrow.  I only made the decision last night that I was going to get back on track before going for my weigh-in at WeightWatchers, rather than just leaving it and starting again then, and I wanted to plan a meal plan for this week before I go shopping tomorrow.  I also want to decide which “diet” lifestyle I’m going to follow – the WeightWatchers proPoints plan, the Fast Diet (5:2 diet) or record my food/calories on SparkPeople.  I’ll probably end up doing a mixture of the Fast Diet and recording on SparkPeople.  Yes, I know I’m a WeightWatchers member and really should give their plan a good go but I can’t get on with it!  I only go to WeightWatchers because I am a Gold member and if I can get back to within 5 lbs of my goal weight of 9 st 11 lbs I don’t have to pay.  Only another 3 or 4 lbs to go, if I haven’t put too much on over Christmas.  I may look into their Filling and Healthy plan though, hmm.  Next week, after I’ve been weighed.

So, planning and preparation today and recording everything from tomorrow.

Building Healthy Habits in 2012 – January – Water

I am a great fan of SparkPeople (you only have to look at my sidebar and see the link to their website to know that) and I am the team leader of a couple of teams on there.  As team leader, I try to set up challenges each month to help my team mates either get back on track or stay on track so that they can reach their healthy living goals.  As I signed up for SparkPeople’s January Jumpstart Challenge, I decided not to set my usual baby steps challenge this year.  Instead, I’m going to build healthy habits with a “Habit of the Month” each month.  Habit for January is water.

I have set out the challenge below for anyone who would like to follow it too.  My team started this challenge on 1 January 2012 but you can start it on any day you like and adapt it to suit you and your lifestyle.

Habit of the Month – Drinking Water

Starting on 1 January 2012, I’m going to break the month down in to weeks so we can build up to drinking 8 cups of water per day, plus extra if you drink caffeine laden drinks as the caffeine takes away from the water.  I usually include squash as drinking water but any form of carbonated drink and juices do not count towards the water total, see SparkPeople’s article on Danger Drinks and Healthy Alternatives as well as their Healthy Beverage Guidelines for more information.  Before you say anything, yes, I know that both of these articles say that you can drink tea, coffee and diet soda but they also say that you should be drinking 8-12 cups of water per day and limiting the amount of other drinks you are consuming.

Week 1 (1/1 – 7/1)
Log every drink you have, be it water, coffee, tea, coke, hot chocolate, squash etc.  This is so that you can get a picture of what you normally drink.  If you can, make a note of the time you have your drinks if they aren’t water/squash.

You don’t have to try to get your 8 cups of water this week, unless, like me, you already do.

Week 2 (8/1 – 14/1)
Now that you know how many cups of water and other drinks you have every day it is time to start increasing the water and decreasing the others.  I know this will be hard so we’ll take it one day/week at a time.

Have a look at the times that you are drinking something other than water/squash and ask yourself if you could have a cup of water instead.  I’m not asking you to replace your first cup of tea/coffee of the day that would be cruel.  I don’t drink tea or coffee but I do drink a lot of diet coke so I’ll use myself as an example.  I don’t let myself drink diet coke until after lunch and then only if I have drunk at least 4 cups of water.  I then alternate between coke and water for the rest of the day.  So, even though I do get my 8 cups of water I have also cancelled all but 4 of them out by drinking diet coke.

So, to this week’s challenge – try to increase your water intake by 1 cup and decrease your other drink intake by 1 every day.  Make a note of both and work out how many cups of water you really had.

Week 3 (15/1 – 21/1)
Carrying on from last week, try to increase your water by 1 and decrease your other drinks by 1 so that you should now be increasing the actual cups of water benefiting your body.

Week 4 (22/1 – 28/1)
Try to get 8 cups of water on top of your other drinks.  So, if you have 3 cups of tea/coffee then you need to drink 11 cups of water.

Exercise – Favourite?

Daily Post #221 – What is your favorite way to get exercise?

What is your favorite way to get physical exercise?  Least favorite? What form of exercise have you always wanted to try? What about mental exercise?

Favourite exercise?  I’m not sure I have one after all variety is the spice of life and I definitely need variety when it comes to exercise.  I exercise so that I can maintain/lose weight and still eat the treats that I want to eat – I can’t live without my chocolate and cake etc!

So, what exercise do I enjoy?  Kettlebells!  Love kettlebells.  Never heard of them?  Do a search and watch some YouTube videos.  Why do I love them?  They are a great all round exercise for both cardio and strength and you burn about 100 calories for 10 minutes!  What’s not to love?

I also enjoy some exercise DVDs and games.  I like the Biggest Loser (UK) exercise DVD and the Biggest Loser (US) game for the Wii.  I also use SparkPeople’s workout videos from their website or YouTube.  I find them a really effective, tough workout and I thought I was relatively fit!

Finally, I also go swimming or running.  I enjoy the swimming but not the running so much although I do feel a sense of achievement when I finish the 10k Run for All every year especially when I know that I have raised money for charity by doing it.

Daily Post #174 – Social Networks

Topic #174:

Google recently released Google+, a new social network. Do you think you need another social network? Do you prefer real social networks (people you actually see regularly), or are you happy with the digital social networks you use? Or do you avoid them all on principle?

Another social network? Why? Do we not have enough already? I guess not since I already have a Facebook account as well as a twitter account for personal use as well as a Facebook page and linked in account for my business. Then, I also have my SparkPeople membership which is like another social network, albeit for those looking for a healthy lifestyle. Oh, and let’s not forget Friends Reunited which so many of us signed up to before we found all our old school friends on Facebook! And, MSN messenger, Google talk and Yahoo messenger. How many of these things do I really need?

Yes, I have accounts with a lot of social networks and some are for business and others for personal use. However, I have greatly reduced the time I spend on most, if not all, of them as I don’t have as much time as I used to to keep them updated. I was one of the millions who enjoyed playing games on Facebook but that was more because I was working in a job which didn’t keep me busy so to kill time I’d play games. When I was made redundant I had even more time for games but now that I am working again (and very busy with it) I don’t have time to play the games. I hardly ever go on Facebook now except to update the wall for the Group that I work for.

I use twitter too but, again, not as much as I did. That tends to go in spits and spurts depending on what I am doing and whether my mobile will get a strong enough signal for me to do it. I very rarely check to see what anyone else has posted though.

Now to the other part of the question, “do you prefer real social networks”? Well, yes. It’s nice to see people face to face but that is not always possible. I mean, my family is spread out over the country and the world. I live 240+ miles away from my step-children so being able to use Facebook, twitter, messenger is very useful. However, at the moment my sister and I live in the same town but we still only see each other once every couple of months because we are so busy so, again, social networks are useful. They will become even more useful when my sister moves again, this time out of the country.

For business, though, real networks are essential as it gives you a chance to put across your personality a lot easier than using the written word. I mean, can you tell when I am being sarcastic? serious? You can’t see the twinkle in my eye which let’s you know when I am winding you up. For those things, you either have to have read a lot of my stuff and have worked out my writing style or know me away from my blog etc.

Social networks, both face to face and online, are an important part of our lives. We should not forsake the face to face networking as it teaches us how to interact with people around us. However, online social networking allows us to meet people outside of our town or country who may be able to provide support which our local circle of friends and acquaintances can’t, for example on that healthy living journey or if you have an illness which you want to talk about to someone who is not so close to you. That kind of social networking isn’t new… did you ever have a pen-pal? Someone you were put together with for a school project or through a magazine/club? It’s just that the internet makes it quicker.